Data Governance & Stewardship

December 2nd, 2016

Stanford’s Data Governance vision is that Stanford’s institutional data is trusted, understood, accurate, and is provided and used in a meaningful, secure and consistent manner.

Many of Stanford’s current Data Governance activities fall under the umbrella of Stanford University Data Stewardship (SUDS), which focuses primarily on the development of definitions and other metadata for data elements used in BI reporting projects.

Stanford’s Data Governance Center, which houses the SUDS Data Dictionary and other metadata resources, can be found at

An annotated index of Stanford’s Data Governance resources is available at

In keeping with Stanford University’s educational mission and commitment to openness, our Data Governance materials are made freely available wherever possible. We welcome ongoing discussions around these, and appreciate hearing about downstream uses of Stanford’s Data Governance resources, especially in conference presentations, white papers, or other public contexts.

If you have any questions, would like to discuss ways that you or your team could become involved, would like to request access to any of our resources, or believe that you’ve identified a Data Governance, Data Quality or Data Stewardship opportunity at Stanford, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kathleen Warmoth
Data Governance Manager

What is Data Governance?

May 12th, 2017

Data Governance (DG) is a cross-functional set of roles, policies and enabling technologies that work together to ensure that an organization is getting the maximum net benefit out of its data assets. To be both successful and sustainable, a DG program must be integrated with business and IT processes throughout the organization.

The fundamental purpose of all DG programs is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes. Critical business processes are especially sensitive to the quality of data, and the failure of such processes may have far-reaching impacts. Quality data that is “fit for use” across the organization can only be developed and maintained through the collaboration of a diverse set of data stakeholders. This group must commit to formalized responsibilities, policies and procedures around the effective management of data. All DG procedures, including data quality remediation and master data standardization, are most efficient and effective when they are understood and performed consistently throughout the institution.

To achieve institution-wide commitment, the strategy and structure of each DG program must be designed with the unique priorities, competencies and goals of that organization in mind. This may lead to vastly different DG implementations, even among similar organizations. Additionally, as a DG program grows and technical and business environments change, its strategy and structure must continually evolve to remain effective.

High-quality data is a critical success factor across all functions of any organization. Proactive data management and a well-defined Data Governance program are required for the full value of this institutional asset to be realized.

DG@Stanford is getting a new look!!

May 12th, 2017

DG@Stanford has undergone a remodel and a reorganization, and the revamped site will replace the current site with in the next few weeks.  Have no fear, we are keeping the underlying WordPress format and users of the site will still have access to all the previous blogs.  So what has changed?  We have made it more user friendly so that users of the site, internal and external to Stanford, can find information about our program without having to sift through numerous blogs, while still having the ability to follow the site similar to a traditional blog.

Here is a preview of the updated site:

Come back here to see the new and improved DG@Stanford and give us your feedback (what worked, what didn’t, suggestions etc.). As always we welcome your feedback.

Thank you,

Kathleen Warmoth

Data Governance Manager


Stanford’s Data Governance Vision, Mission and Goals have been finalized and approved

February 27th, 2017

Stanford’s data governance program’s vision is that institutional data is trusted, understood, accurate, and is provided and used in a meaningful, secure and consistent manner. Our mission is to enhance the value, quality, security, and understanding of institutional data through coordinated efforts of campus stakeholders.  The program will protect institutional data through planning, execution and continual oversight of relevant policies, practices, and projects. In addition, this program will establish a framework for appropriate access to and use of institutional data.

The goals of the program are:

  • Identify, map, document, increase visibility of institutional data resources and systems, and create policy and agreements for sharing data resources
  • Develop policy and procedures to ensure consistency in how data is sourced and used across university units in order to ensure data quality and integrity
  • Develop, implement, maintain and help enforce University-wide data management policies, standards, guidelines and operating procedures related to institutional data assets
  • Define roles and responsibilities that govern the management of institutional data
  • Identify and document the proper derivation logic for measures and aggregations of data
  • Build a communication plan so that data consumers are aware of data governance standards and the available resources for the accurate reporting of University data
  • Build an extensive central metadata repository for information about institutional data assets that can be systematically used with confidence in business applications across the University
  • Foster communication and knowledge exchange among data governance practitioners across the university

Data Governance Vision Statement approved at November BICC meeting

December 2nd, 2016

The DG vision statement was approved at the November Business Intelligence Competency Center Steering Committee (BICC).  Our vision statement is that Stanford’s institutional data is trusted, understood, accurate, and is provided and used in a meaningful, secure and consistent manner.

The mission and program goals are going through the vetting process and should be finalized within the next months.

New Data Stewardship Coordinator

June 8th, 2015

We are delighted to announce Stanford’s new Data Stewardship Coordinator, Kathleen Warmoth.

Kathleen has been with Stanford for 10 years, most recently serving as the Academic Data Manager in the School of Medicine. She has a great deal of experience with data structures, definitions and the appropriate application of various data types. She has implemented consistent nomenclature associated with faculty data across the school, and established best practices for using this data. She has also worked closely with the school’s Data Governance Board, MedIRT, Office of Institutional Planning, and various other Dean’s Office units as a subject matter expert to ensure that faculty data correctly syncs to downstream systems in order to provide accurate reporting and look-up tools across the school. She has also been an active participant in the university’s Faculty Data Stewardship group.

We are very pleased to welcome Kathleen as the coordinator of Stanford’s data stewardship and data governance efforts. Please feel free to contact her at

Stanford Data Governance at AIR

May 29th, 2015

At this year’s AIR Forum, the annual conference of the Association for Institutional Research, Kathryn Flack Potts participated in a panel on data governance in higher education. The panel, organized by Kathy Schmidke Felts of the University of Missouri, also included data governance leaders from Ball State University, the University of California-Irvine, and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

Slides [PDF]: AIR2015DataGovernancePanel

Data Stewardship Coordinator position opening

March 4th, 2015

Stanford is looking for our next data stewardship coordinator.

The position description can be found at

‘Staff map’ released

February 13th, 2015

The recently released ‘staff map’, a joint effort of Stanford University data stewardship and University Human Resources, illustrates major groupings and properties of University employees and non-employee affiliates. These include benefits eligibility, exempt status, hourly vs. salaried pay, and more.

This and other data stewardship ‘maps’ are available at


Data Governance and Stewardship Materials

December 2nd, 2014

A major recent focus of our data governance and stewardship efforts has been the development of standards, best practices, and especially documentation — metadata about metadata. These materials are compiled into an annotated index of resources, Getting Started with Stanford Data Governance (metadata about metadata about metadata?).

This document is intended as a quick reference for users from a variety of perspectives, compiling information on themes including:

  • The SUDS Dictionary (the basics)
    • Goals and principles
    • Field inventory and usage
  • Running a Data Stewardship Group
  • Creating Content in the SUDS Dictionary
    • Developing definitions
    • Creating new term names
    • Statuses
    • Policy references
    • Reporting definitions
  • Using Collibra
  • Further Reading: Data Governance and Data Stewardship at Stanford
    • Data Governance and Data Stewardship at Stanford
    • The Stanford Data Governance Maturity Model
    • Miscellaneous

The document will be updated as materials evolve, with updates announced here (RSS this page to easily watch for updates) as well as circulated to core participants in Stanford’s DG/DS efforts.